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Full text of "Fish and Wildlife Management Report June 1, 1957"

No, 



June 1, 1957 



FISH AND WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT 



REPORT 



PROVINCE OF ONTARIO 

DEPARTMENT OF LANDS AND FORESTS 

Division of Fish and Wildlife 



Hon. Clare E. Mapledoram 
Minister 



F.A. MacDougall 
Deputy Minister 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 



Report on Results of the 1956 Aerial Beaver Survey, 
Geraldton District. - by H. G. Cumming 



Page 



Kenora District Beaver Census, 1956. - by P. A. Thompson 5 

Small Mammal Survey, 1956. - compiled by H. G. Lumsden 7 

Road Kills, Lake Simcoe District. - by J. S. Dorland 15 

Directions for Live Trapping Marten (revised) 

- by V. Crichton 19 

Midwinter Waterfowl Inventory for Ontario, 1957. 

- by George M. Stirrett 24 

Summary of Fall Brant Migration. - by Thomas W. Barry 26 

Songbird Mortality Following Soil Treatment With Aldrin. 

- by Lc J. Stock and Jacob Kalff 29 

Ruffed Grouse Bag Census, 1956, Parry Sound Forest 

District. - by F, A. Walden 31 

Report on Pelee Island Pheasant Disease Findings. 

- by J. K. McGregor 33 

Movements of the Yellow Pickerel ( Stizostedion v. 

vitreum) (Mit chill) in Lake Superior and the Nipigon 

River System. - by R. A. Ryder 3# 

Pickerel and Northern Pike Tagging Studies in the Winnipeg 
River, District of Kenora in 1954 and 1955. 

- by J. M. Fraser 43 



(THESE REPORTS ARE FOR INTRA-DEPARTMENTAL 
INFORMATION AND NOT FOR PUBLICATION) 



- 1 - 

REPORT ON RESULTS OF THE 1956 AERIAL 
BEAVER SURVEY, GERALDTON DISTRICT 

by 

H. Go Cumming 



Purp ose; 

To try out in the Geraldton District the method for census- 
ing beaver from the air outlined by R. 0. Stanfield. x 

Method 

With the help of H. G. Lumsden, a route, consisting of six 
laps and totalling about 250 miles was laid out so as to cover the 
territory between Geraldton and Lake Superior. This route was flown 
on October 16th and 18th, 1956. 

There were three observers on each flight, two on the right 
side and one on the left. Typewriter ribbon was tied to the struts 
as in the report, and height was around $00 feet. 

All signs of beaver were recorded under the following 
headings; Active lodge with food pile, food pile alone, active 
lodge alone, active pond, dead lodge, dead pond, old colony (very 
old signs of past beaver activity) . The weather was clear and 
visibility good on both days. 

Results 

The results of these two flights are summarized in tables 
No. 1 and No. 2. In these tables the two sides of the aircraft, 
the two flights, and the individual observers are kept separate. The 
side is indicated by the words u left" and iv right vi in the heading. 

The flight number is in brackets and the initials of 
observers are over the individual columns. 

Observers were H. G. Lumsden, W. L. MacKinnon, H. G 
Cumming, D M. Comer and J. Gow. Total columns are included and 
they are themselves totalled. 

x Stanfield, R, 0. An Aerial Census Method for Measuring changes in 
the Densities of Beaver Populations, Ontario Department of Lands 
and Forests, Research Division, Wildlife Section Report No. 7. 



- 2 - 



Conclusions ; 

1. It is obvious from Tables No. 1 and No. 2 that there is a great 
variation among observers. 

2. Averages, sightings and deviations are as follows ; 

Average living colonies seen Right side 11*6 

Left side 34*1 

Average dead colonies seen Right side 26£3 

Left side 23*5 

Average of all colonies seen Right side 37-11 

Left side 52*11 

3. Possible reasons for the large variation. 

(a) Inexperienced observers. It seems to require some condi- 
tioning before the shape of food piles and beaver houses 
becomes easily recognizable. It is a psychological fact 
that we are better able to see things when we know what to 
look for. 

It is suggested that a presurvey flight during which the 
various objects could be pointed out would be a great help 
to new observers. Such a flight was tried after the 
described survey, and it seemed to help considerably. 

(b) Confusion of terms. In spite of the definitions, observers 
interpretated the various categories differently. The pre- 
survey flight could also be used to standardize the kinds 
of conditions that would be put in each category. 

(c) The observer in the right forward seat was inclined to count 
observations beyond the ribbon line. This was despite the 
fact that he leaned forward so as to be able to see the 
ribbon tied to the strut. 

(d) The hilly country encountered along the north shore of Lake 
Superior made it more difficult to maintain a stable height, 
or to fly the same flight line twice. The increased wind 
drafts seemed to tip the aircraft more making it more 
difficult to determine the outer boundary. It was also 
difficult to see into the canyons enough to distinguish 
beaver activity. 

(e) Late storage of food piles by the beaver due to the weather 
conditions also made them more difficult to recognize. 

4. There is still much merit in the method. A much better survey 
should be possible next year. 



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- 5 - 

KENORA DISTRICT BEAVER CENSUS, 1956. 

by 

P. A. Thompson 



To gain knowledge on population trends of beaver in the 
Kenora District the aerial census method for measuring changes in 
the densities of beaver populations by R. 0. Stanfield was used. 

A transect beginning at the junction of Highway #17 and 
#70 running southeast 106° to the west shore of Kawashegamuk Lake 
thence northwest 322° to a small lake due east of Confusion Lake 
thence southwest 186° to point of beginning was laid out on a map 
four miles to the inch. The total length of the route was 260 
miles. 

The census was done from a beaver aircraft. Two persons 
acted as observers and a third assisted the pilot in maintaining 
the desired altitude and course. 

The census was made on November 13th. Weather conditions 
were cloudy with sunny intervals with winds 15 miles per hour. Some 
of the small shallow ponds were frozen over. 

Observations of active colonies were plotted on maps, four 
miles to the inch, under the following classifications? 

(1) Active lodges with food pile. 

(2) Food piles only. 

(3) Active ponds. 

(4) Dead or non-active colonies. 

Results 

The area occurring within the zone of observation was 193 
square miles. Observers counted and recorded the following? 

Active lodges with food piles *.*..o... 129 

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Active lodges with food piles, food piles only and active 
ponds were considered to be live beaver colonies. A combination of 
these categories gave 166 active beaver colonies on the sampled area. 

Estimated beaver population for District calculated from 
aerial surveys 

Area sampled (in square miles) 193 

Live Beaver Colonies counted 166 

Live Beaver colonies per square mile .86 

Approx. area of District under Fish & Wildlife Supervision 

(in square miles) 14*900 

Total Beaver colonies for District 12,841 

Assumed No. of Beaver per colony 5 

Calculated beaver population of District 62,205 



- 6 - 

Estimated beaver population for District calculated from 
house counts given by trappers S 

Total beaver colonies for District given by trappers ..,.,. 12,6$8 

Assumed No. of beaver per colony . .».<... ■ » 5 

Calculated beaver population for District <,....,... 63 ? 440 



- 7 - 

SMALL MAMMAL SURVEY, 1956 

compiled by 
H, G. Lumsden 



During the summer and fall of 1956 small mammal trapping 
was carried out by fire tower and wildlife staff at 57 sites across 
the province. 

At a site two traplines of 30 traps each were laid out in 
uniform forest stands. A line consisted of 10 stations a half chain 
apart with three traps set at each. The traps were operated for 
three day periods but if heavy rain interfered with the operations 
an extra day was added. 

There was some departure from this standard approach in 
White River District where 25 traps were placed one chain apart and 
run for two weeks. In Kapuskasing there were also some minor varia- 
tions in layout and the project was started in the summer so that 
there were three trapping periods. 

Specimens were pickled in preservative in quart sealers 
and were shipped to the Royal Ontario Museum of Zoology for identifi- 
cation. 

Our appreciation is acknowledged to Dr. R. L. Peterson and 
Mr. S. C. Downing for carrying out this work. 

Altogether 546 small mammals of 14 species were presented 
for identification. Table No. 1 summarizes this information. 

Staff who took part in this survey are to be congratulated 
on the success of their first efforts. 

Appendix I gives the breakdown of the catch according to 
location, date, and species. The final column gives the number of 
small mammals recorded as having been caught on the report forms. 
It will be seen that this figure does not always correspond with the 
numbers appearing in the species columns. There may be two reasons 
for this. Firstly in many cases chipmunks were caught, but were not 
saved with the rest of the catch. Secondly, operators may have caught 
small mammals away from their traplines and placed them in the bottles 
for identification. In one case, a little brown bat was included in 
the catch from the Bannerman Tower, Kapuskasing. In future, any 
specimens not taken in the traps for which an identification is 
required should be clearly labeled with the request and information 
on origin. 



TABLE uO. I 



- a - 



Cinereous Shiew 
Pigmy Shi ew 
Mole Shrew 
Star-nosed Mole 
Little Brown Bat 
Eastern Chipmunk 
Western Chipmunk 
Deer Mouse 
White-footed Mouse 
Led- backed Mouse 
Meadow Mouse 
Yellow-cheeked Vole 
Meadow Jumping Mouse 
Woodland Jumping Mouse 



( Sorex cinereus ) 8 

( Microsore x hoyi ) 3 

( Blarina brevicauda ) 110 

( Condvlur a cristata ) 1 

(Myotis l ucifugus ) 1 

( Tamias stiiatus ) k- 

( Eutamias minimus ) 7 

( peromyscu s maniculatus ) 262 

( Peromyscus leucopus ) 13 

( Clethrionomys gapperi ) 89 

( Microtus pennsylvanicus ) 9 

( Microtias c hi otorrhinus ) 1 

( Zapus hudsonius ) 18 

( Napaeozapus insignis ) 20 

TOTAL 5^6 



Probably not trapped 



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- 15 - 



ROAD KILLS, LAKE SIMCOE DISTRICT 



by 

J. S« Dorland 



In February 1955 > feeling that a record of game which I 
have noticed killed upon our roads would be of some benefit, or, at 
least interesting to know, I decided to keep such a record for the 
period of one year. 

All road kills noticed within the Lake Simcoe District 
were to be tallied by township, road or highway and dated. This at 
first appeared to be quite an easy matter as with a book beside me 
all that was needed was a careful study of the road ahead and a few 
seconds to record any kills noticed. However, as time went by when 
little recording was done, I found that on a few occasions my mind 
left the road kill to the more pressing business of the day. There- 
fore, this record cannot be called an accurate count of kill I 
passed during the period of one year. However, the records are to 
some extent interesting to note and I am presenting this report only 
for the benefit which may be derived from such by the reader. 

Estimated miles driven over the Lake Simcoe District I 
place at 16,000 with 75% of this on hard-surfaced roads where it 
appears speed is essential today. Working on a five-day week basis 
between field and driving to and from the office, less holidays, 
would add up to around 240 days of possible observation. Of these 
240 days my records show that on only 62 days did I record a road 
kill. 

During the year, nine different types of animals were 
recorded with a total kill of 92. The animal with the greatest 
percentage of these was the lowly skunk with a total of 43? with the 
greatest kill taking place in the month of October (this month is 
also one of the two highest driving months of the year, the other 
being in May) . However, only the kill in September comes anywhere 
near the October total of skunks destroyed on our roads, the remainder 
of the year showing only one to six recorded each month. It is 
also the only animal which shows a road kill every month of the year. 

Next comes the raccoon with a total of 17 recorded, the 
greatest number appearing in May and no kills noticed after September. 
This appears a little odd as in the fall months this animal, which 
is steadily increasing, is hunted the heaviest. 

From these two animals my records of road kills drop 
considerably to nine pheasants, seven jack rabbits, five porcupines, 
four woodchucks, four cottontails, three squirrels and one deer. 

Although these numbers may appear insignificant they do 
tell a story. 



- 16 - 

In the pheasants recorded, it was noticed that the kill 
took place during the months of July and August at which time they 
are being released throughout the District from the Provincial 
Hatchery, These birds, at this time, have not yet realized the 
dangers of their surroundings and feed without fear upon the roadside 
gravel, where they are an easy target for any speedster or irres- 
ponsible person behind the wheel of- a motor vehicle. 

The jack rabbit kill is somewhat startling when one recalls 
the number noticed along the roadside some few years ago and it 
would indicate very clearly a marked decline in this once very fine 
sporting animal, 

With the exception of the cottontail rabbit and the 
pheasant, road kills of the other animals were distributed through- 
out the district, whereas for the two mentioned above the road 
kills were all below Highway No. 90 which is in a snow belt running 
up to 70 inches of snowfall per year. 

The Red Fox, which in recent years has taken the place of 
the jack rabbit in abundance throughout the district, is entirely 
lacking in the road kill. Reports from car drivers show that this 
sly animal is rarely caught by a travelling vehicle and appears to 
avoid the danger of crossing or running along any travelled road 
unless such roads are clear of vehicles. 

Woodchuck kills, although only four are recorded, were 
made during the months of April to Julys cottontail rabbits - May 
and June; jack rabbit - April to August and, porcupines - May to 
September. 

The scarcity of road kills noticed from November to 
February may be attributed to the scraping of roads during these 
months and the depth of snow, besides the decrease in movement of 
certain animals. 

The month of May shows the largest number of different 
animals killed upon our roads, July and August, a little above 
average for the year and, December and January as the lowest. 

In summarizing the record of road kills, it would appear 
from the large number of skunks killed throughout the year that the 
majority of road kills of our wildlife go unnoticed by the driver 
and must be considered, in most cases, unintentional. 



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- 19 - 

DIRECTIONS FOR LIVE TRAPPING MARTEN (Revised) 

by 
V. Crichton 



l a Types of Traps Most Suitable ; 

National Collapsible Live Traps, measuring 24 x 6J x 6^ 
inches, manufactured by the National Live Trap Company at Tomahawk, 
Wisconsin, have proved most effective. They are easily assembled 
and when collapsed, twelve or more may be easily carried in a pack- 
sack. They do not seem to arouse any suspicion from the animals, 
as do the box type traps with sheet metal top and sides. The latter 
have never proved successful in live trapping operations in the 
Chapleau District. They are too clumsy, bulky and the trip mechanism 
is such that small mammals often release the trigger. 

2. Most Suitable Time of Year for Live Trapping ; 

Live-trapping has been carried on from the middle of June 
until the end of September, with good success during the entire 
period. It is impossible to say what is the best time during this 
period. However, long continued rainy spells, cut the take down to 
practically nil. 

3 . Site Preferences ; 

Solid stands of Jackpine, Spruce or Hardwoods are poor 
habitats for live marten trapping, during the warm summer months 
and early autumn in the Chapleau District. This is not typical of 
winter trapping. 

It has been found that, during the period of our,. live 
trapping operations, marten prefer a mixed forest of mature timber 
with Balsam and a good sprinkling of Cedar, along waterways in 
country that is fairly flat. 

Traps are never set more than 75 feet from the water's edge 
and most traps are set within 50 feet of the water's edge. 

4. Types of Bait ; 

Very satisfactory bait is fresh fish. Smoked herring is 
very good. They are easily carried, the odour is attractive and 
deterioration is slow. A dry stick is dipped in Liquid Rodium or 
Catnip, and stuck at the base of the tree between trap and tree or 
in the trap at the back. Bait should be tied to the top of the trap 
near the back. 



- 20 - 

5 • Where to Place Trap s i 

Traps are set in two different ways 2 

(1) Well known trap house style used by all trappers set at base 
of tree. 

(2) By placing the trap beside a fallen log, preferably an old log, 
partly or wholly covered with moss. 

Setting traps on open ground is not as a rule successful. 
All traps should be set in the timber. 

6 . How to Camouflage Traps : 

When setting traps in the trap houses, first place the trap 
against the base of a tree, after leveling off the ground. Then 
drive old pieces of wood into the ground on both sides of the trap. 
Cover well with Balsam or Spruce boughs, both on top and the sides. 
If the second type of set, alongside an old log, is employed, make 
sure that both sides, top and back, are well covered with Balsam or 
Spruce boughs. 

7. Frequency of Inspections ; 

Traps should be inspected every day, rain or shine. Most 
Marten are very high strung and nervous animals, and if left too 
long in the traps, they begin to fight the cages. They soon break 
their teeth and are very often found dead if left more than one 
night in the traps. 

8. Methods and Equipment for Removing Animals Trapped ; 

Personnel engaged on live-trapping operations must carry 
a quantity of extra traps with them on their daily inspections. 
Where a marten has been trapped, it is then only necessary to pull 
out the trap in which the marten is caught and replace it with one 
of the spare ones. Hold the trap only by the handle on top; grasping 
it in any other manner is only inviting injury to your fingers and 
hands from the trapped animal. Put the trapped animal in the canoe 
after giving it a drink of water (this is important) with a minimum 
of fuss, and cover it with an old tarpaulin. Should you have more 
than one animal in the canoe or other conveyance, be sure that a 
covering is placed between each cage so that they do not see each 
other. This tends to keep them quiet, and helps prevent them fight- 
ing the trap. Upon arriving back at your camp, take the animals from 
your canoe, etc., with a minimum of fuss, place them in the shade, 
and cover with a tarpaulin prior to preparing the holding pens. 

Holding pens should be kept scrupulously clean, even when 
not in use. An ordinary tin can should be cut in half and wired to 
one side of the holding pen in a convenient place below the screen, 
so that water may be poured into the tin through the screen. A 
liberal quantity of dry timothy hay should then be placed in the 
pen, making sure there is enough so that the marten can make a nest 
and still have the bottom well covered. Place the front of the trap 



- 21 - 

and holding pen together, open up the doors and chase the marten 

from the trap into the pen. This should be done by two persons. 

Usually marten will go into the pen without any trouble. Place the 
animal in the shade under a tarpaulin. 

9» How to Feed and Maintain Marten in Captivity " 

When aluminium holding pens are not available and animals 
must be kept in the traps, the traps must be separated and screened 
from each other by the use of boards, cardboard etc. It is important 
that they do not see each other and keep pens covered with a tar- 
paulin. It is essential to build a rack so that the tarpaulin is 
l#-24 inches above the pens to allow for free circulation of air. 
This should be built in the shade. 

It is essential that pens must be cleaned each day when 
using prepared food such as Dr. Ballard's canned Dog Food, which has 
been found to be very satisfactory. One can of dog food per four 
marten per meal is sufficient and often more than enough. Do not 
overfeed and do not give them any more of the prepared food than 
they can eat at any one time. They should be fed twice a day, 
morning and evening. 

Fox food in cubes has been found to be the best marten food 
when they will eat it and the majority of them do. When fed this 
dry food the scats are firm. Any cubes not eaten will not cause a 
disagreeable odour in the pens. Consequently the necessity of clean- 
ing pens every day is eliminated. However, some marten will not eat 
fox cubes and consequently must be given prepared food. It has been 
found in the majority of cases where marten have first been given 
prepared food that they will not eat fox cubes, therefore, to save 
work and expense, they should be given fox cubes from the beginning 
of their captivity. 

To supplement this, trapped mice, blueberries and the fruit 
of Bunchberry are relished. Do not put anything into the cages that 
they will not eat, such as moles ; this only upsets them and causes 
them to growl and become irritated. They are as a rule an easy 
animal to upset and everything should be done to keep them quiet 
and contented. After a few feedings at regular hours, marten will 
let you know by low guttural sounds that feeding time is nigh. 

Marten require plenty of water and the water pails in the 
pens must be kept well filled. 

Sometimes marten will refuse to eat and become sick. It 
has been found that in most cases a diet of raw eggs will help 
considerably. In the past, marten have died in the pens and an 
autopsy has not revealed the cause. A thought was that the feeding 
of jam may have in some way contributed to the cause of death. Jam 
is unnecessary . It was at first thought that it helped to keep 
them quiet when first trapped but is now found to be unnecessary. 

It is extremely important to keep marten quiet and away 
from noise. Strangers should not be allowed near the pens. 



- 22 - 

Marten are quick to recognize those who are feeding and looking 
after them. In transporting them to the place of release, they 
should be moved around to the least possible degree. Most usually 
become quiet in an hour, but a few continue to fight the pens most 
of the journey. 

Some animals are quite docile, even when caught and pay 
no attention to their captors ; others are nervous and some very much 
so. It must be remembered to keep them quiet and contented as one 
must hold them in captivity for a period of three weeks or more, 
pending a good sex ratio or enough for a pay-load. 

10. How to Ear Tag and Tattoo Marten ; 

Take enough fairly stout but pliable chicken wire, not 
larger than inch mesh, and make it into a cone, with the large or 
open end big enough to slip over the end of the holding pen. The 
cone should be about 30-36 inches long. Raise the door of the pen 
and as a rule the marten will rush out into the end of the cone. 
Immediately, squeeze the cone around the marten so that the animal 
is unable to move. The ears are quite prominent and it is no effort 
to hold one between the forefinger and thumb. Tagging or tattooing 
is then easily accomplished. 

Place the end of the cone back over the pen, open door, 
release pressure on the marten and it will immediately retreat back 
into the pen. 

Some marten may be tagged or tattooed on the first day of 
capture" the more nervous ones should wait for a few days. Weighing 
of the marten should be done as soon as camp is reached so that 
true weights may be recorded. 

11. How to Release Marten s 

The simplest way, after being taken to the place of 
release, is to open door, turn pen on one side and let the animals 
wander out of their own accord. However, many are reluctant to 
come out, and it then becomes necessary to shake the pens. Some 
marten become quite docile, but never handle them unless ones hands 
are fully protected. They have very sharp, strong teeth and can 
inflict serious injury. 

12. Holding Pens for Marten s 

In our operations at Chapleau it was often necessary to 
hold marten in captivity for some weeks prior to their release. 
In the early stages of this work we frequently had marten die in the 
traps in which they were held and many tore out their teeth on the 
wire traps in their struggle to escape. After a great deal of 
experimenting special holding pens were devised and since then there 
have been very fev; losses and no injuries. 






- 23 - 

The holding pens are constructed entirely of heavy sheet 
aluminum except for a small area on top about 3 x 10 inches which 
is covered with heavy gauge screen of quarter inch mesh. These 
pens are 36 x 10 x 10 inches. It is important to use screen that 
has the wire soldered or brazed at the cross section or else marten 
will work at the screen until they make holes large enough to grasp 
with their teeth. The only entrances to the cage are by a small 
sliding panel on top to be used for feeding and a door at one end, 
opening inward. 

These pens have proved successful to date but we do have 
the odd animal that delights in gnawing holes in the pens with 
resultant loss of the marten. 



- 24 - 

MIDWINTER WATERFOWL INVENTORY FOR ONTARIO, 1957 

by 
George M, Stirrett 
Canadian Wildlife Service 



The Inventory this year was taken in a similar manner to 
that of last year. Many observers took part. The Fish and Wildlife 
Division, Ontario Department of Lands and Forests again did the 
aerial survey from Presqu v Ile to the Quebec border on Lake Ontario 
and the St. Lawrence River, and from Lake Huron down River St. Clair, 
Lake St. Clair, Detroit River and Lake Erie shore, to Niagara River 
Lake Ontario to Hamilton Bay. 

There was a larger amount of ice in the eastern end of 
Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence than for any year since the survey 
was started in 1950. On the other hand, ice conditions in Lake 
Erie were about the same as last year, and Lake St. Clair had more 
open water than usual. All large ba3^s and marshes were frozen over 
the entire Province, 

In spite of large amounts of ice in Lake Ontario and the 
St. Lawrence River the waterfowl Population was down in this area 
only about 12$. There was a slight increase in the total number of 
waterfowl wintering in Ontario over that for 1956. The population 
was about the same as in 1955. 

The number of Black Ducks wintering showed a marked 
decrease, (the lowest number for any year of the eight years) also 
down in population were Mallard, Golden-eye, Buffle-head and 
Mergansers. 

The total over wintering populations was sustained by a 
remarkable increase in the number of Canvas-back wintering in the 
Detroit River and Lake St. Clair region. The number 32,715 is more 
than double the population observed in any other year. The Scaup 
Duck population also showed a gain over that of 1956. 

Midwinter Waterfowl Inventory, 1957, Summary for Province 
of Ontario. Table Showing Species, Their Estimated Numbers 
and Comparison With Estimates of 1955 and 1956. 

Species 



Mallard 
Black Duck 
Baldpate 
Pintail 

Green-winged Teal 
Shoveller 
Redhead 
Ring-necked 
Canvas-back 
Greater Scaup 
Lesser Scaup 
Scaup spp 



Year 1957 


Year 1956 

6,361 

9,391 
1 


Year 1955 


4,210 

3,332 




1,132 

13,006 







2 


1 




















159 

1 

32,715 

10,667) 

14)21,351 
11,173) 


433 
2,302 

3,351 
11,935) 

227)19,767 
7,555) 


2,209 

150 

12,791 

5,234) 

1,212)30,194 
23,693) 






- 25 - 



Species 


Year 1957 


Year 
14, 284 


1956 


Year 1955 


Golden-eye 


7,310 




15,233 


Buffle-head 


76 




1,005 




140 


Eiders 


2 












Scoters 


251 




12 




110 


Ruddy 


13 




1 




4 


Canada Goose 


3,027 




3,000 




1,300 


Brant 















Blue Goose 







1 







Snow Goose 















Whistling Swan 















Mute Swan 















Trumpeter Swan 















Coot 


30 




1 




15 


Wood Duck 


36 




102 







Harlequin 















Gadwall 















Old Squaw 


5,777 




10,610 




7,662 


American Merganser 


391) 




334) 




631) 


Red-breasted Merganser 


5 o 




36) 


1 •* y~» Mm 


23), ^ 


Hooded Merganser 


3) 2 


,479 


1) 


4,695 


2)4,396 


Merganser Unidentified 


2,030) 




4,274) 




3,735) 


Unidentified 


9,666 




4,33^ 




2,374 



GRAND TOTALS 91,069 35,157 91,267 

No. Species Identified 20 21 13 

NOTE ; Most of unidentified Mergansers are American Merganser. 

Most of Scaup Ducks Unidentified as to species are Greater 
Scaup. Among Scoters the White-winged. Scoter was definitely 
identified. The Eiders were King Eiders. 



- 26 - 



SUMMARY OF FALL BRANT MIGRATION 



by 
Thomas W. Barry- 



Here is a summary of the migration, to date, of the brant 
banded at Southampton Island, N 3 W.T., Canada, Aug. 7> 1956. 

Included in this summary are band recoveries from shot birds 
(R)° sight records of the brant that were given yellow plastic neck- 
bands (Y)° and a few reports of unmarked brant (U). 

The Southampton brant followed a southward route that was 
much further inland than was expected. From these and other records, 
the brant migrated in waves, with heavy concentrations on Oct. 24-25? 
Nov. 3 ; and Nov. II. The spring migration appears to be a more 
leisurely flight along the Atlantic Coast. 

This summer I will be banding brant again on Southampton 
Island, and I will appreciate receiving reports of fall and spring 
migrations, whether they are of marked birds or not. 



Date 



Place 



(1956) 


Sept 


. 7 


Oct. 


17 


Oct. 


20 


Oct. 


21 


Oct. 


23 


Oct. 


24 


Oct. 


24 


Oct. 


25 


Oct. 


25 


Oct. 


28 


Oct. 


30 


Nov. 


2 


Nov. 


3 


Nov. 


3 


Nov. 


3 


Nov. 


3 


Nov. 


3 


Nov. 


5 


Nov. 


8 


Nov. 


$ 


Nov. 


$ 


Nov. 


9 


Nov. 


10 


Nov. 


10 


Nov. 


10 


Nov. 


10 


Nov. 


10 



Hudson Bay, Churchill, Man. 
Charlton Island, James Bay 
Lake Ontario, Rochester, N. Y. 
Lake Ontario, Rochester, N. Y. 
Lake Erie, Dunkirk, N. Y. 
Lake Erie, Dunkirk, N. Y. 
Ottawa River, Pembroke, Ont. 
Barnegat Bay, N. J. 
Susquehanna R., Columbia, Pa. 
Brigantine Nat, Wildl, Ref., N. J. 
Ottawa R., Ottawa, Ontario 
Souris R«, Prince Edward Is. 
L. Beauchastel, Rouyn, Quebec 
Oneida Lake, N. Y. 
Saranac Lake, N. Y. 
Tioga River, Mansfield, Pa. 
Barnegat Bay, N„ J. 
Barnegat Bay, N. J. 
Ottawa R., Wendover, Ont. 
James River, Williamsburg, Va. 
W. Atlantic City, N. J. 
Sea Isle City, N. J. 
W. Atlantic City, N. J. 
Tuckerton, N. J. 
Great Bay, N. J. 
Tuckerton, N. J. 
Ocean City, N. J. 



Record 


Reporter 


U 


Maj. Carl Ashline 


Y 


Graham Cooch 


R 


Vernon Smith 


U 


John Brown 


R (3) 


Roman T. Bielat 


R 


Richard Kern 


U 


A.E. Bourguignon 


U 


Paul McLain 


R 


Leo Lutz 


Y 


Martin Michener 


U 


A.E. Bourguignon 


R 


Fee Roach 


R 


Robert Schmidt 


U 


Tony Taormina 


U 


Dr. Dwight Webster 


R 


Richard E. Wilson 


U 


Irving Feist 


R 


Marvin Chase 


U 


A. E. Bourguignon 


R 


Frank Miller 


R 


Frank Lafferty 


R 


Walter W. Brooks 


R 


Frank Lafferty 


R 


S. Ernest Smith 


R 


Henry Megargee 


R 


John Catheart 


R 


Robert Locovara 






- 27 - 



Date 



Nov. 


11 


Nov. 


11 


Nov. 


11 


Nov. 


11 


Nov. 


11 


Nov. 


11 


Nov. 


3-28 


Nov. 


12 


Nov. 


14 


Nov. 


15 


Nov, 


16 


Nov. 


17 


Nov. 


17 


Nov. 


18 


Nov, 


18 


Nov. 


19 


Late 


Nov. 


Nov. 


29 


Nov. 


29 


Dec. 


1 


Dec. 


4 


Dec. 


4 


Dec. 


5 


Dec. 


8 


Dec. 


9 


Dec. 


10 


Dec. 


11 


Dec. 


15 


Dec. 


17 


Dec. 


22 


Dec. 


27 


Dec. 


27 


Dec. 


27 


Dec. 


28 


Dec. 


29 


(1957) 


Jan. 


2 


Jan. 


2 


Jan. 


6 


Jan. 


13 


Jan. 


14 


Mar. 


21-23 


Mar. 


24 


Apr. 


8 



Place 

Rideau River, Kempville, Ont. 

Lake George, N. Y. 

Gloucester, Mass. 

Lake Ontario, Texas, N. Y. 

Brigantine Nat. Wildl. Ref., N. J. 

Chesapeake Bay, Cambridge, Md. 

Atlantic City, N. J. 

Great Bay, Beach Haven, N. J. 

Barnegat Bay, N. J. 

Chesapeake Bay, Chrisfield, Md. 

Brigantine Nat. Wildl. Ref., N.J. 

Great Egg Harbor, Ocean City, N.J. 

Brigantine Nat. Wildl. Ref., N.J. 

Great Bay, Beach Haven, N. J. 

Brigantine Nat. Wildl. Ref., N.J. 

Chincoteague, Va, 

Chincoteague, Va. 

Assateague, Md. 

S. Chincoteague, Va. 

Brigantine Nat. Wildl. Ref , N.J, 

Cincoteague, Va. 

Honga River, Pointy Point, Md. 

Stites Sound, Avalon, N. J. 

Great South Bay, Babylon, Long Is. 

Sea Isle City, N. J. 

Peck Bay, Ocean City, N. J. 

Longport, N. J. 

Sea Isle City, N. J. 

Peck Bay, Ocean City, N. J. 

Great South Bay, Seaford, Long Is. 

Peck Bay, Ocean City, N. J. 

Assateague Is., Ocean City, Md. 

Assateague & Chincoteague, Va. 

Brigantine Nat. WildL Ref,, N.J. 

Great South Bay, Jones Beach, Long Is. 



Great Bay, Beach Haven, N. J. Y (2) 

Barren Is., Chesapeake Bay, Md. R 

Lido Beach, Long Island R 

Absecon Bay, Atlantic City, N.J. Y (2) 

Barren Is., Chesapeake Bay, Md. R 

Oregon Inlet, Pimlico Sound, N.C. Y 

West Quoddy Head, Lubec, Me. Y 

West Quoddy Head, Lubec, Me. Y 



Record 


Reporter 


U 


A.E. Bourguignon 


U 


C.W. Severinghaus 


U 


Robert L. Grayce 


U 


Fritz Scheider 


R 


S, Dana 


R 


John G. Wharton 


R (2) 


E, M. Barr 


R 


E. K. Webster 


R 


Charles Hotaling 


R 


John Shallcross 


Y 


T, W. Barry 


R 


Ted Patroni 


R 


John Fitzpatrick 


Y 


T. W. Barry 


Y 


William Forward 


R 


Carlton McGee 


R (3) 


J. A. Daisey 


R 


Norman Calhoun 


R 


Vernon Budd 


R 


Graham 'Wilson 


R 


J. J. Knotek 


R 


Ashland Ruark 


Y 


Fred Ferrigno 


R 


Fred J. We sen 


Y 


Fred Ferrigno 


R 


Fred Ferrigno 


R 


Richard R. Lovett HI 


R 


John F. Donohue 


R 


Fred Ferrigno 


R 


Don Lockhart 


R 


Fred Ferrigno 


Y 


Chandler Robbins 


U 


Frederic Scott 


R 


William Forward 


R 


John Green & Wayne Steele 



Chris Sprague 
C. E. Elderkin 
Harry Keiser 
William Forward 
C. E. Elderkin 
Lewis B. Turner 
Arnold E. Davis 
John M. Dudley 



District or * 
Keewatin 




- 29 - 



SONGBIRD MORTALITY FOLLOWING SOIL TREATMENT WITH ALDRIN 

by 
L. J. Stock and Jacob Kalff 



Reports of songbird mortality following treatment of soil 
with Aldrin - a volatile chlorinated hydrocarbon - instigated a 
personal investigation which revealed the following information. 

One farmer saw approximately a dozen dead birds including 
robins, goldfinches and/or' yellow warblers, one indigo bunting and 
one baltimore oriole. Except for the oriole all were on cultivated 
ground and could not be recovered at the time of investigation, May 
22, 1956, which was ten days after the first dead bird was seen, 
Positive identification was not possible, but from the descriptions 
given, the only uncertainty seems to be between goldfinches and 
yellow warblers. 

The first dead bird was noticed 24 hours after application 
of Aldrin on this particular farm, Lot 47, broken concession, 
Middleton Township, Norfolk County (approximately two miles north of 
Delhi). The same time elapsed between the treatment of a neighboring 
farm and the death of the oriole. 

Although the instructions state that cultivation should 
be immediately after treatment, there is a time lag, since the custom 
sprayer covers the ground much more quickly than a tractor and 
cultivator. If a rain intervenes, the lag is prolonged. 

It is assumed that the birds eat the poisoned insect forms 
and are themselves poisoned as a result. A stomach analysis and/or 
test for Aldrin would be necessary to substantiate this. 

It is unfortunate that only one bird was procured. However, 
members of the local conservation club are interested and will 
preserve any others if they can be obtained. 

Symptoms of Poi soning 

A Baltimore oriole was observed in a rye field; as it was 
approached, it turned completely around several times, "chirped" and 
fell over dead. This occurred 24 hours after Aldrin was applied to 
a near-by field. The bird was sent to Division of Research for exa- 
mination. (NOTE - owing to the small amount of material available 
it was not possible to carry out a toxicological examination. 
However, with the collection of additional specimens further work is 
planned in 1957) . 



- 30 - 

Comments 

It was impossible to estimate the number of birds killed 
in the entire area treated with Aldrin, Many no doubt died in 
woodlots and along hedgerows bordering fields. Game birds and seme 
mammals could also be affected. 

During this particular spring, insect-eating birds are no 
doubt particularly vulnerable since the cold weather has retarded 
the emergence of their usual food species. Migrants generally are 
thin and near exhaustion on arrival in Ontario. 

In spite of repeated inquiries no other evidence of 
poisoning was obtained, although mortality may have been general 
throughout the area. We believe this is partly due tc the reluc- 
tance of the users of Aldrin to report dead birds because widespread 
mortality might lead to criticism of this method of pest control. 

We plan to investigate this die-off more thoroughly in the 
spring of 1957c 

Rate of Application 

20% Aldrin Emulsion - li to 2j gals, in the amount of 
water required to treat one acre (20 gals, more or less). 

Spray on soil surface. Cultivate 2" to 6" immediately. 
Some damage occurred when this treatment was used in 1955. 

Above is treatment for control of wireworms from "Tobacco 
Protection Guide" by Green Cross. 

Personnel of the local Co-op, which sells Aldrin state 
that the above application controls cutworms and other soil inhabit- 
ing forms in addition to wireworms. 

Aldrin has been in use on tobacco land for the past three 
or four years. At present, approximately 95% of the farmers depend 
on it for control of certain specific insects. 

Time of application - in May prior to planting. 

Cost i$3«50 per acre for the chemical. 



- 31 - 

RUFFED GROUSE BAG CENSUS, 1956 

PARRY SOUND FOREST DISTRICT 

by 
F. A. Walden 



Some small success was achieved in the Ruffed Grouse Bag 
Census which was conducted in 1956. Nineteen reports were submitted 
by Conservation Officers which showed that 4$ hunters killed 163 
birds in 500.5 hours. Thus one grouse was taken for each 3.0$ hours 
of hunting. Stated another way, 32.6 birds were killed per 100 man- 
hours of hunting. 

Seventeen of the reports were for the northern part of 
the District. 

Three parties used dogs. 

The sex ratio of birds shot was lsO.94. There were 62 
adult birds of both sexes shot and 101 juveniles. The ratio of 
adults to juveniles is lsl.63. 

The data are very limited but may be sufficient to give 
a rough comparison in future years. Table I presents a summary of 
the information obtained from the game bag census cards. 

Two spruce grouse were reported, but have not been 
included in this summary. An effort will be made to obtain a 
greater number of reports in future hunting seasons. 



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- 33 - 

REPORT ON PELEE ISLAND PHEASANT DISEASE FINDINGS * 

by 

J c K. McGregor 

Ontario Veterinary College, Guelph 



Herewith is a report on our findings from the various 
materials submitted in connection with the pheasant disease studies 
on Pelee Island. 

Much of the material enclosed is self-explanatory, but by 
way of commentary the following remarks may be made. During the 
July, 1956 faecal survey, areas in the North East Peninsula and 
around the Anglican Church were apparently comparatively free of 
parasite contamination. This observation was largely refuted when 
the faecal survey of October 31> 1956 was made. Areas near the 
North West Clubhouse and S.S. No. 3 showed a light infestation of 
Capillaria worm eggs in the July survey. No samples were taken from 
area S.S. No. 3 in October. 

The area on the road going towards the East shore which 
is labelled No. 5 on the July map, and from which a number of samples 
were taken, was only lightly contaminated with parasitic eggs, some 
of which we could not properly identify, since they did not fit any 
of the ova of known parasites. 

The area near the R.C. and E. Churches in the Southwest 
corner showed light Capillaria and Syngamus eggs. A few living 
mite eggs were evident during July. Only Coccidia was added to the 
list of parasites from these two areas during the October survey. 

It will be noted that in the October survey a few alterna- 
tive areas that were not previously covered, were canvassed. The 
results of these newer areas are referred to in the attached lists. 

The common internal parasite eggs of pheasants on Pelee 
Island ares (1) Capilla ria (2 sp.), (2) Syngamus trachea , (3) 
Coccidia, (4) Spirurid-like eggs, (5) various atypical eggs and ova 
of unknown designation. The list above places these parasitic eggs 
in their relative importance with respect to occurrence. 

With regard to the atypical and eggs of unknown designation 
an attempt was made to trace these down to their source. It occurs 
to us that, because these were wild birds, and consuming a varied 
diet of animal and vegetable material, the eggs of various free 
living invertebrated forms might show up in the faeces as a natural 
phenomenon. Otherwise it does not seem possible to identify these 
structures with the information that we have available to us at the 
present time. 



x As reported in a letter to Mr. Lloyd Stock, District Biologist, 
Lake Erie District, April 23, 1957. 



- 34 - 

You will note reference to Spirurid eggs in the attached 
list. Possibly this should be made to read Spirurid-like eggs. 
These conform to the description given for eggs said to be from 
Spirurid worms in most respects, with the exception that they were 
about twice the size range that is given for Spirurid worms. More- 
over, a careful examination of the organs of the birds sent for 
examination did not show evidence of Spirurid infections, even though 
the eggs may have been present in the faeces. Here again we have 
no idea of the species involved. 

The carcasses of the birds that were shot during the 
annual hunt were carefully examined. With two exceptions the worm 
infections were very light, judging from the scarcity of eggs. In 
the pheasants examined Coccidia were present to a moderate degree, 
although the examination of the bowels showed no lesions to be 
evident. 

In specimen 14 Syngamus worms were observed, but not in 
sufficient numbers to cause death in the bird. In item 16, even 
though Capillaria worm eggs were found in the faeces to a moderate 
extent, no worms were recovered from the crop or oesophagus. 

As previously noted there were two species of Capillaria 
found in the material submitted. The judgement was based on the 
difference between eggs observed from time to time. These species 
are probably Capillaria annulata and Cj_ contorta . 

Pelee Island Pheasant Project, 1956 . 

Sample No. Area No. Flotation Results 

1 1 Negative 

2 1 Negative 

3 1 Negative 

4 1 Negative 

5 1 Negative 

6 1 Coccidia + 

7 1 Negative 

8 1 Negative 

9 2 Negative 

10 2 Negative 

11 2 Negative 

12 2 Negative 

13 2 Negative 

14 2 Negative 

15 2 Negative 

16 3 Negative 

17 3 Capillaria ++ 

18 3 Coccidia ++ 

19 3 Negative 

20 3 Capillaria f 

21 3 Negative 

22 3 Negative 

23 3 Capillaria 

24 4 Negative 



- 35 - 



Sample No. 


Area 
4 


No. 


Flotation Results 


25 


Negative 


26 


Missing 




27 


5 




Coccidia ++ 


23 


5 




Negative 


29 comp. 


6 




Negative 


30 


Missing 




31 


7 




Smooth shell oval egg. 


32 


7 




Thin shelled egg 


33 


7 




S. trachea 


34 


7 




Negative 


35 


7 




Egg thin shell (mite)++, capillaria -f+ + 


36 


7 




Capillaria (?) mite eggs 


37 


7 




Negative 


33 


7 




Capillaria 


39 


7 




Capillaria sp. 


40 


7 




Negative 


41 


7 




Negative 


42 


Missing 




43 


19 




Negative 


44 


19 




Negative 


45 


19 




Negative 


46 


19 




Negative 


47 


19 




Coccidia, Capillaria 


43 


5 




Negative 


49 


5 




Negative 


50 


5 




Negative 


51 


5 




Negative 


52 


5 




Negative 


53 


5 




Negative 


54 


5 




Unknown thin shelled egg (degenerate) 


55 


5 




Thin shelled elongated egg 


56 


5 




Negative 


57 


5 




Negative 


53 


5 




Negative 



Pelee Island Pheasant Projects, 1956 . 

Composite samples from pheasant faeces taken Oct. 31 » 1956 



Area No, 

1 
1 
1 
1 
2 
2 
2 
2 
2 
2 



Flotation Results 



Negative 

Capillaria + 

Capillaria + 

Capillaria + 

Capillaria ++ , Spirurid, Heterakis mite eggs 

Capillaria ++ 

Capillaria +, Coccidia + 

Negative 

Spirurid 

Capillaria ++, Coccidia 



- 36 - 

Area No. Flotation Results 

2 Capillaria + 

2 Negative 

2 Negative 

3 Negative 

3 Capillaria 

3 Capillaria 

3 Capillaria ++ 

3 Negative 

3 Capillaria 

4 Capillaria 

4 Capillaria, Syngamus, Coccidia 

4 Spirurid 

4 Negative 

4 Capillaria, S„ trachea 

4 Spirurid 

4 Negative 

4 Coccidia +++, Capillaria, Syngamus tra 

4 Coccidia +++ 

5 Coccidia ++, Capillaria + 
5 Negative 

5 Negative 

5 Coccidia + , Capillaria + 

5 Syngamus 4 

6 Coccidia, Capillaria 
6 Spirurid, Coccidia + 
6 Negative 

6 Capillaria 

7 Spirurid (?), Capillaria, Syngamus 
7 Spirurid (?) 

7 Capillaria, Spirurid (?), Syngamus 

7 Negative 

7 Coccidia, Capillaria 

7 Negative 

7 Coccidia, Syngamus, Capillaria 

7 Negative 

7 Coccidia, Spirurid 

7 Spirurid ++, Coccidia ++, Capillaria 

7 Syngamus 

7 Too thick 

7 Negative 

7 Negative 

7 Negative 

5 Capillaria, Syngamus 

6 Spirurid, Coccidia, Capillaria 

8 Capillaria 

8 Capillaria, Syngamus 
3 Negative 

3 Negative 

S Negative 

9 Capillaria, Spirurid 

9 Capillaria, Spirurid ++ 

9 Capillaria, Spirurid 



- 37 - 



Area 

9 
9 
9 
9 
10 

9 



Flotation Results 



Negative 

Negative 

Negative 

Capillaria -f-f 

Negative 

Negative 



Pele e Island Pheas ants - Feb . 22, 1957 

Annual Sh oot 

Six carcasses examined yielded nothing in worms. 

Mite eggs 

Mite eggs, Capillaria 

Mite eggs, Capillaria 

Negative 

Capillaria, many mite eggs 

Many mite eggs 

Spirurid egg + 

Negative 

Negative 

Mite eggs 

Negative 

Negative 

Capillaria, Heterakis 

Syngamus -k+, Heterakis mite 

Capillaria, Spirurid 

Heterakis, Capillaria *+ mite 

Capillaria mite 

Capillaria, Coccidia ++• 

Mites 

Negative 

Negative 

Negative 

Capillaria 

Negative 

Negative 

Negative 



No. 


1 


No. 


2 


No. 


3 


No. 


4 


No. 


5 


No. 


6 


No. 


7 


No. 


8 


No. 


9 


No. 


10 


No. 


11 


No. 


12 


No. 


13 


No. 


14 


No. 


15 


No. 


16 


No. 


17 


No. 


IS 


No. 


19 


No. 


20 


No. 


21 


No. 


22 


No. 


23 


No. 


24 


No. 


25 


No. 


26 



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- 3* - 

MOVEMENTS OF THE YELLOW PICKEREL 
Stiz pstedion v. vitreum (Mit chill) 
IN LAKE SUPERIOR AND THE NIPIGON RIVER SYSTEM 

by 

R. A. Ryder 



During the Zone 1 meeting of the Ontario Federation of 
Anglers and Hunters at Terrace Bay in the spring of 1955* consider- 
able discussion took place pertaining to the alleged over-exploi- 
tation of the Nipigon Bay pickerel population,, Commercial catch 
statistics including the years 1949-1953 do not reveal any alarming 
decreases but rather a normal fluctuation. Tourist outfitters 
were concerned over the decline of the pickerel sport fishing in 
Polly Lake, a small lake connected to Nipigon Bay via the Nipigon 
River and Lake Helen. Polly Lake has all the characteristics of a 
very productive lake, being shallow over most of its area. The 
surrounding terrain is chiefly sand and bedrock. The substrate 
consists mainly of sand and muck and a mixture of the two. A 
variety of fishes occur in the lake including pike, whitefish, 
tullibee, white suckers, Iowa darters, yellow perch, saugers and 
pickerel. It is believed that two or three species of minnows 
also exist there. The pickerel inhabit for the most part two 
shallow bays on the northwest side of the lake. Here they feed 
over a sand bottom sparsely weeded with rooted aquatic vegetation. 
On a favorable fishing day, a limit (six) of pickerel can easily 
be caught in less than half an hour by slow trolling over the 
weed beds, in about eight feet of water. Spinners and worms, or 
minnows, are most commonly used. Only occasionally is a fish 
weighing over two pounds caught. 

Because of its easy accessibility and good pickerel 
fishing, together with modest tourist accommodations, Polly Lake 
is heavily fished during the summer months. It is the site of an 
annual fish derby which attracts hundreds of anglers and picnickers. 
Consequently, Polly Lake represents considerable economic value, 
and as such requires a fish management program. 

The first step was to determine if the Polly Lake and 
Lake Helen pickerel were part of the same population inhabiting 
Nipigon Bay of Lake Superior. This necessitated a tagging program 
which was initiated on April 27 in the lower Nipigon River. 

The pickerel moved into the shallows of the river shortly 
after dark where prespawning activities took place. They seemed 
to prefer a boulder and gravel substrate, occurring most frequently 
in back eddies behind large rocks or around protruding shoals away 
from the main current. A few frequented areas of almost no current. 
These fish were easily caught at first with long handled dipnets. 
Later, as they became wary of the light they were more difficult 
to obtain. This negative reaction to light was also noted by 
Eschmeyer (1950). The best method was to capture half a dozen 
pickerel, anesthetize and tag them, release the fish, and capture 



- 39 - 

six more. In this manner a two man team could work most efficiently. 
Streamer-type tags were employed for this operation and were 
attached into the flesh on the back of the fish between the spiny 
and soft dorsal fins. A curved surgical needle was used for this 
operation as outline by Joeris (1953) • The tag consisted of a 
small oblong plastic disc and was attached to the fish by means of 
nylon gill net twine. Both ether and urethane were alternated 
in the anesthetization of the fish. During the first night only 
27 fish were tagged, the fish becoming increasingly hard to catch 
with each succeeding exposure to light. While the pickerel appeared 
to spawn over a considerable length of the shoreline where conditions 
were suitable, only one station was satisfactory for the capture of 
the fish. Of the 27 fish tagged, 16 were mature males, either ripe 
or near ripe, while the remaining 11 were unidentified as to sex, 
all being apparently green females or possibly immature fish, 
although the latter is believed to be doubtful. During the night ? s 
tagging operations the water temperature remained a constant 38.5° F. 

On the night of May 1, further tagging operations took 
place on the lower Nipigon River. The water temperature had 
jumped two degrees to 40.5° F. The pickerel seemed to demonstrate 
less negative phototrophism and were more easily captured, 
returning almost immediately to the shallows with the removal of 
the light. A total of 63 fish were tagged consisting of 41 ripe 
males and 22 fish unidentified as to sex. The gonads of five 
other fish of doubtful sex were checked and found to be green 
females. 

A further attempt at tagging in the Lower Nipigon River 
took place on May 7, but the water had since turned turbid, making 
impossible the capture of the fish. It must be noted that an 
exceptionally early spring for this area probably resulted in 
abnormally early spawning for this population of pickerel. 

Between June 16 and July 21 a total of 30 pickerel were 
tagged in Polly Lake and 15 at the north end of Lake Helen. The 
fish in Lake Helen were tagged from a small meshed gill net. The 
Polly Lake fish were all caught on hook and line (slow trolling 
with spinner and streamer fly) with the exception of one caught in 
a 2" mesh (stretched measure) gill net. 

Results of Tagging 

Of the 27 fish tagged the first night on the Lower 
Nipigon River, none have yet been recovered. Five of the second 
lot of 63 fish tagged on the Lower Nipigon River were returned 
by anglers. Of these, four were captured in Polly Lake 20, 37, 41 
and 4o days following tagging, the other being caught at approxi- 
mately the point of release 88 days after tagging. To reach Polly 
Lake from the Lower Nipigon River, a fish will have travelled a 
minimum of nine miles by water. No fish were returned from the 
gill net tagging in Lake Helen on June 17. Of the 30 fish tagged 
in Polly Lake during June and July, 6 tags were returned, 5 by 
anglers and one by a commercial fisherman. The 5 caught by anglers 
were recaptured in Polly Lake 1, 8, 9, 11 and 14 days after tagging 
and releasing. The sixth fish was caught in a pound net off 
Caribou Cove, St. Ignace Island, Nipigon Bay, on or about August 10, 
approximately 20 days after tagging in Polly Lake. This fish 
travelled approximately 27 miles in direct line from Polly Lake. 



- 40 - 

Lower Nipigon Total 

River Lake Helen Polly Lake Tagged Fish 

No. tagged 

fish 90 16 30 136 

No. tag 

returns 5 6 11 

Percentage 

tag returns 5.5% 20$ B.1% 

Average 
length 16. 5" 17.1" 16.1" 

Range 12.3"-20.1» 15.0' 8 -lS.3" 12.7"-19.4" 
No. fish 
measured 91 20 30 

Conclusions 

Four of the fish from Nipigon Bay which were tagged 
while spawning in the Lower Nipigon River and recovered in Polly 
Lake demonstrate some truth in the belief that the Polly Lake fish 
and Nipigon Bay fish are of one population. It does not preclude, 
however, that only one population of pickerel is involved. A 
second population might be endemic to Polly Lake as demonstrated 
by the six tags released and recovered from Polly Lake. This appears 
to be unlikely, however, as pickerel are rarely caught in Polly Lake 
after September. Average lengths cannot be employed in the deter- 
mination of one or more populations as the Lower Nipigon River 
samples were probably all of mature fish, and the Lake Helen sample 
was selective according to the mesh size of the gill nets used to 
capture the fish. However, it has been proved that certain groups 
of pickerel enter the Nipigon River from Nipigon Bay, traverse 
Lake Helen through the channel into Polly Lake. Almost certainly 
these explorations are not for spawning purposes (with the excep- 
tion of the initial entrance to the Lower Nipigon River in April 
and May) , but seem more likely to be accounted for in the feeding 
habits of the fish. As mentioned previously, Polly Lake is 
extremely productive, but because of its small size cannot 
conceivably support the whole population of Nipigon Bay pickerel. 
Pickerel runs into Jackfish River, the Upper Nipigon River and 
Lake Helen give evidence that the pressure on the available food 
supply in Polly Lake is somewhat dissipated. Fishing success on 
Polly Lake varies from excellent to extremely poor in a matter of 
only a few days. Good fishing seems to be due to an influx of 
fish rather than other variables. The one fish tagged in Polly 
Lake and returned in Nipigon Bay hints at a return migration to 
Nipigon Bay, perhaps, a routine path being followed more than once 
in a year. 

That commercial fishing in Nipigon Bay affects angling 
in Polly Lake is still doubtful. If it reaches the point where 
the fishery is threatened there will probably be a noted reduction 
in the abundance of Polly Lake pickerel. However, under the present 
trend of normal fluctuation the fishery will likely be maintained 
status quo, barring any catastrophe. 



- 41 - 



Movements of Tagged Pickerel 



)Polly 
Lake 



Upper 

Nipigon 

River 



N 

A 



Jackfish 
River 



KEY 

A) 

B) Tagging Stations 

C) 



Explanation - 
Fish released at A were 
recovered at A and B. 
Fish released at B were 
recovered at B and D. 
None of the fish tagged 
at C were recovered. 



Scale - 1 inch » 4 miles 




St. Ignace 
Island 



Black Bay 
Peninsula 



- 42 - 



Recommendations 



An extended tagging program is required, perhaps, for a 
period of five years or more. The present number of fish tagged 
(136) is not sufficient to determine an accurate estimate of 
population or mortality. Under favorable conditions many more 
fish could be tagged during the spawning run. Future tagging 
should determine suitable quotas for commercial fishermen on 
Nipigon Bay and settle the question of whether these fish are of 
a single population or not. 



We wish to acknowledge with thanks the help afforded to 
the tagging operations by H. M. Cummins, H. Height and P. Nunan 
of the Fish and Wildlife staff and G. Beauchaine of the Air Service. 



Literature Cited 



Eschmeyer, Paul H. 

1950. The life history of the walleye, Stiz osted ion vitreum 
vitreum ( Mit chill ) , in Michigan. Bull. Inst. Fish. 
Res7~T!ich.) No. 3, pp. 1-99. 

Joeris, Leonard S. 

1953. Technique for the application of a streamer-type 
fish tag. Trans. Am. Fish. Soc, Vol. 32 (1952), 
pp. 42-47. 



- 43 - 

PICKEREL AND NORTHERN PIKE TAGGING STUDIES IN THE WINNIPEG RIVER 
DISTRICT OF KENORA IN 1954 AND 1955. 

by 

J. M. Fraser 



Introduction 

The Winnipeg River is the only natural outlet for the 
waters of Lake of the Woods. The flow of water into the Winnipeg 
River is controlled by two dams and powerhouses located at the mouth 
of the river. Downstream some 70 miles from Lake of the Woods the 
Winnipeg River is joined by the English River to flow in a westerly 
direction to Lake Winnipeg. This river is very irregular in outline 
and varies from narrow channels of swift water to large placid 
expansions such as Sand Lake. 

The Winnipeg River is angled by residents of Kenora and 
Keewatin, which are located at the mouth of the river, and also by 
guests from a number of tourist camps in this area. Downstream 
20 miles there is a concentration of about 450 private summer cot- 
tages and nine commercial tourist camps. For its size the Winnipeg 
River receives only moderate angling pressure. 

Pickerel and Pike are the chief sport species while small- 
mouth bass and maskinonge are also caught. According to various 
observers the Winnipeg River has always provided good angling and 
it has been noted that the average size of pickerel retained by 
anglers in the Minaki-Sand Lake areas is considerably larger than 
the average size taken in Lake of the Woods. Other species found 
in the river are whitefish, tullibee, goldeye, sauger, perch, 
sturgeon, common sucker and redhorse sucker. 

For the past twenty years the Kenora Hatchery has operated 
several pound nets at the Dalles Rapids (10 miles downstream from 
Kenora) for the purpose of collecting pickerel spawn. The catch of 
pickerel in these nets has fluctuated between 5,000 and 12,000 fish 
with no apparent trend of increase or decrease. 

In past years a number of persons have expressed concern 
over the practice of taking spawn from the river and it was decided 
to study the situation more thoroughly by means of a tagging program. 
As the fish were readily available after spawn taking it was an 
opportunity tol 

(a) Work out a suitable tagging technique. 

(b) Determine the migration pattern of pickerel in the river. 

(c) Possibly assess the exploitation by angling. 



- 44 - 



Tagging Procedure - 1954 



During the period May 15-21, 1954 a total of 1,047 
pickerel were tagged and released from the hatchery nets located at 
the Dalles Rapids. A monel metal strap tag bearing ONT and a 
serial number was attached to the right operculum by means of special 
tagging pliers. The tagged females averaged 20-21 inches in total 
length while the males averaged 16-17 inches. The length distribu- 
tion of 562 pickerel is presented in Table I. In this table the 
females are in the majority since the spawn taking crew retained 
the males to use them again while the females were of no further 
use to them. Scales were collected from 1SS tagged fish but the 
ages have not yet been determined. 

In addition to the pickerel tagging 93 northern pike, 
ranging in length from 1S-25 inches, were tagged in the manner 
described above. 

T agging Procedure - 1955 

In the spring of 1955? 913 pickerel were tagged and 
released from the hatchery nets located at the Dalles Rapids. This 
year the strap tag was attached to the upper jaw including both 
maxilla and premaxilla. 

Tag Returns - Pickerel 

The number of tagged fish reported caught by anglers from 
the two years of tagging was somewhat disappointing. Of the 1,047 
pickerel tagged (operculum) in 1954 only 11 {!%) were reported 
caught by anglers in that year - none were reported in 1955. The 
return from the 913 jaw tagged pickerel in 1955 was slightly higher 
than in 1954. Anglers reported catching 15 (1.6%) tagged pickerel 
during the summer of 1955. 

There are four possible reasons for the low return of 
tagged fish in the Winnipeg River. These ares 

(1) Angling pressure is very slight and 1% to 1.6% reflect this 
low exploitation. 

(2) A percentage of the fish lost their tags. 

(3) Anglers did not report all tagged fish caught. 

(4) Tagged fish do not bite as readily as untagged fish. 

Points #3 and #4 above are not believed to have been 
responsible for the low number of recaptured fish. The tagging 
program was given considerable publicity through the local newspaper 
and radio and circular letters were sent to key points. There was 
considerable interest shown in the program especially by persons 
in the Minaki area where much of the angling is done. As to point 
#4 jaw tagged fish are known to bite less readily but the effect is 
not too great. 



- 45 - 

It was believed in 1954 that many pickerel lost their 
opercular tags and undoubtedly some did. Churchill (1955) > however, 
reports a 16$ recovery by anglers of opercular tagged pickerel in 
Escanaba Lake, Wisconsin during the first sumraer e He states, though, 
that the majority of fish lose their opercular tags before the 
second summer. The great majority of Winnipeg River pickerel did 
lose their tags before the second summer but it is believed that 
most of them retained their tags through June, July and August when 
the bulk of angling was carried out. 

This belief is somewhat supported by the 1.6$ recovery of 
pickerel jaw tagged in 1955, as jaw tagged pickerel are known to 
retain their tags for considerable periods of time. 

Exploitation by Angling 

Although the results of this tagging study are by no means 
conclusive, the two low recoveries of 1.0$ and 1.6$ of tagged 
pickerel are believed to reflect a light exploitation of the pickerel 
population by angling. By way of comparison Eschmeyer (1950) in 
summarizing the pickerel tagging studies in Michigan states 
"Recoveries during the first year from jaw tagged walleyes in 
various Michigan waters have ranged from 1.5$ to 26«5$» M He further 
states that the 1*5$ recovery in Lake Gogebic indicates a low rate 
of exploitation. 

The following recoveries of tagged pickerel in other 
waters (taken from Eschmeyer) are listed for rough comparison with 
the tagging studies in the Winnipeg Rivers 

Lake B9jlJI§EE^l Percent Recovery in First Year 

Winnibigoshish (Minn.) 3,000 13$ 

Wolf River (Wis.) 3,694 9.3$ 

Norris Reservoir (Tenn.) 455 17.4$ 

Escanaba Lake (Wis.) 964 13.6$ 
(Churchill, 1955) 

Tag Returns - Pi ke 

Of the 93 northern pike tagged in 1954 three were reported 
caught by anglers in that year and four more were reported in 1955. 
This represents a total recovery of tagged pike of 7.5$. This 
recovery possibly reflects a proportionately smaller pike population 
exposed to the same angling as the pickerel population. The oper- 
cular tag appears to be much more lasting on the pike than on the 
pickerel. 

Movements of Tagged Fish 

In Figure I are plotted the locations of capture of tagged 
pickerel and pike by anglers in 1954 and 1955. The pickerel have 
ranged extensively after tagging and although tagged fish were 
caught both upstream and downstream the tendency to move downstream 
into Sand Lake was most pronounced. 



- 46 - 

The maximum known distances travelled by pickerel was 
approximately 25 miles downstream to the north shore of Sand Lake 
and to Whitedog Falls. Pickerel could navigate Whitedog Falls 
going downstream but fishing is so slight in that area that the 
possibility of a tagged fish being caught is rather remote. 

In 1954 three tagged pickerel were caught by anglers at 
Norman Dam, Kenora a distance of 10 miles. This is as far as fish 
can go in an upstream direction. Only one tagged pickerel was 
reported caught upstream from the 1955 tagging. 

The northern pike in the Winnipeg River do not range as 
widely as the pickerel and the greatest known distance travelled 
was about seven miles. The average distance from the tagging site 
to the location of capture of seven northern pike was only 2-3 
miles although four of these fish were recaptured over a year after 
they had been tagged. 

Summary and Conclusion 

A total of I960 pickerel and 93 northern pike were tagged 
and released from hatchery pound nets located at the Dalles Rapids 
in the Winnipeg River during 1954 and 1955. The recovery of tagged 
pickerel was 1% in 1954 and 1.6$ in 1955. The recovery of northern 
pike over a two summer period was 7.5%. Tagged pickerel were 
caught by angling 25 miles downstream and 10 miles upstream from 
the tagging site with the greater percentage being caught downstream. 
In contrast tagged pike were recaptured within a few miles of the 
tagging site. 

The low recovery of marked pickerel by angling, although 
subject to some error, indicates that the pickerel population of 
the Winnipeg River is a substantial one and that the present angling 
pressure has little effect upon it; likewise, the practice of 
removing pickerel spawn for the past twenty years appears to have 
little affected it. However, since the fish are readily available, 
it is recommended that this study be continued to check these pre- 
liminary findings and to improve on the tagging techniques. 



- 47 - 



TABLE I - Length Distribution of 562 Pickerel Tagged and Released 
in the Winnipeg River in 1954. 



Total 


Length 


Males 


Females 


Total 


13.0 - 


- 13.9 


13 


1 


14 


14.0 




IS 


3 


21 


15.0 




32 


7 


39 


16.0 




19 


IS 


37 


17.0 




34 


24 


53 


13.0 




IS 


43 


66 


19.0 




16 


73 


39 


20.0 




13 


64 


77 


21.0 




4 


55 


59 


22.0 




3 


39 


42 


23.0 




3 


24 


27 


24.0 




1 


15 


16 


25.0 






9 


9 


26.0 






2 


2 


27.0 






2 


2 


23. 






4 


4 



TOTAL 



174 



333 



562 



- ifd - 



On 



Whitedog 
' Falls 



^ftgJmL^v 



c- 



U Sand 
n/V^v Lake 4< 






•/^ 



WINNIPEG RIVER 

Scale 1 inch Z 4 miles 



</ - Pickerel Recaptures 
A - Pickerel Recaptures 
$ - Pike Recaptures. 







- Tagging Site 



1954. 
1955. 



TKenora 
' Woods \ 



TP^rfo 






*£ 



w» p 



TM lt lh^